Music Artist Spotlight – 02/29

Saul Williams

On this special Leap Year edition of Music Artist Spotlight, we celebrate the birthday of Saul Williams, born February 29, 1972. A spoken word artist from New York, Saul’s works reflect on a darker side of the city life. He is also a critic of the War in Iraq, which has also been a theme in some of his works. Saul also has written a handful of books and made appearances in several films. To date he has released 4 full length albums. Lately Saul has been working with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Saul provided backing vocals on Nine Inch Nails’ “Year Zero” and in turn, Reznor produced and provided backing vocals for Williams’ latest album, “The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!”NiggyTardust! was released using the new and unorthodox release method where the artist provides the album for free or a low amount of money (in this album’s case, the maximum one could pay was $5) and provides the consumer with a digital only copy of the album instead of a hard copy. The album is available in 192 and 320kbps mp3 files, or the lossless format FLAC, and came with a digital booklet containing artwork and lyrics for the album. Saul has been a critic of DRM and decided that this would make a strong statement on his opinion of the matter. With this distribution method (first widely popularized by Radiohead’s In Rainbows) the artist benefits directly, instead of having their profits stolen by greedy record companies. Reaction was mostly positive, both to the method of distribution and the contents of the record itself. The album is still available to download from the official website, however the “free” option has been removed.

So today we congratulate Saul Williams on 36 years on this world speaking out against unspeakable crimes and the unjust. Happy Birthday, and may you have many more to come.

The Download site for NiggyTardust
Saul Williams Official Myspace

Published in: on February 29, 2008 at 11:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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